‘B’ football program looking to develop players

With a new set of coaches and several new players, the Muskie ‘B’ football team heads into this season with a clean slate as they try to turn around a program that failed to earn a win last year.
But the staff isn’t all too concerned with wins and losses. Instead, their job is to teach the kids, many of whom are playing organized football for the first time, proper techniques so they can advance to the senior level down the road.
“We’ve got some talent but we are more concerned with teaching them the game and to get them ready for the senior team,” first-year offensive coach Todd Calder said.
“When we started to work with the fellows, we told them we had a few goals,” rookie head coach Rob Tysz said at last Thursday’s practice. “We want them to have fun, be conditioned, and learn the skills that will allow them to step in with the senior program.”
After that, said Tysz, the team’s goal obviously will be to win a game.
Although the “Bees” have struggled in the win column in recent years against Minnesota, they still produce high-calibre and technically sound players for the Muskie senior squad, which has dominated NorWOSSA the past two seasons.
Part of the reason is the fact the junior squad runs the same offensive and defensive systems as the senior one. The idea is to give the players the chance to learn the system at the junior level before they move on under the guidance of senior head coach Bob Swing.
At the same time, the junior team has always showed remarkable improvement over the course of the season. Last year, under head coach Bob Fryer, the “Bees” made significant strides on both sides of the ball even though it wasn’t reflected in the win column.
While Tysz noted he has several seventh-graders on his 47-man roster (they started out with 58), he is pleased with some of the players’ talents.
“I’ve seen some excellent stuff out there so far,” enthused Tysz, who has had previous coaching experience with the University of British Columbia and Manitoba.
“We have some pretty good talent,” he added. “I am amazed at their speed, and we have some darn good height and size.”
Tysz said he is impressed with the pair of young quarterbacks they have this season to take over at the pivot position from Gary Wager, who moved on to the starting job with the senior Muskies.
“We were a little concerned coming in at quarterback but we have a couple of solid fellows who have played football before, which is a relief to us,” he noted.
And Tysz also has been impressed with the team’s attitude on the practice field.
“When they have the attitude that they want to play football, work hard, and get better, it makes it a lot easier for the [coaching staff],” he said.
“We have those grade sevens come out for the first time and it’s just a credit to their heart,” he added.
The “Bees” open their exhibition schedule tomorrow when they host Warroad at 4:30 p.m. at Westfort. Spectators are welcome.